I think that the key area, especially in the early days of a business, is to have a clear view of what you WANT to achieve, and an even clearer view of what you NEED to achieve to survive...

A Business Plan, if done correctly,will turn the above sentence into a set of targets for your business. Business Plans are often required by a lender in order for you to gain a business loan. If the business plan gets 'under the skin' of your business, it can provide a weekly/monthly/yearly set of targets for you to hit, to help you to keep your business on the right track, and to give you the confidence of knowing your business is on the right track.

A business plan would typically look in depth at sales targets and anticipated costs, culminating in a Profit and Loss Account and Cash Flow, often by month. This would often look at the breakeven point of the business, and would forecast in which months cash flow may be stretched.